Ten Giveaway Signs You Grew Up in the 1970s

  1. You refer to your digital music library as a “record collection”. You simply cannot shut up about the marvel of being able to fit that whole shelf full of LPs, which used to take up an entire wall of you student bedsit, onto a device the size of a fag packet.
  2. You still mentally divide albums up into “side one” and “side two”. This is understandable if it applies to something which originally came out in 1974 on vinyl, but you still do it with new releases. And it’s not just a case of dividing the album in half either. No… there are certain qualities which make a good “opener” for the second side of a record. You have even been known to re-arrange the running order of the mp3s if the band or artist in question “got it wrong”.
  3. Some tedious boy band do a cover of an old ABBA or Blondie song and you can’t resist telling everyone it’s nothing more than a pale, lacklustre, limp-wristed imitation. Who would choose to listen to this sterile, sanitised forgery when the glorious, full-blooded original is still available? It’s like seeing filet mignon on the menu but ordering one of those microwave burgers instead. Whether or not anyone else is listening, or even in the room, when you make this point (maybe not for the first time) is neither here nor there.
  4. You have a zero tolerance policy for rap, hippety-hop and that other thing where people in track suits and baseball caps (the peak is supposed to face the front, by the way) attempt to do drum machine impersonations by spitting saliva-filled raspberry-type fart noises into a microphone. It’s about as closely related to actual music as a beagle is to a geranium. Well, honestly!
  5. You can’t help wondering just what IS going on at Glastonbury? Who on earth keeps booking these tiresome children’s entertainer, teenybopper pop stars? I mean… Kylie Minogue on the Pyramid Stage? Has the world gone mad? Back in the ’70s this would have been like The Bay City Rollers headlining The Monsters of Rock. If this isn’t nipped in the bud it won’t be long before Simon Cowell is running it and the whole thing will be nothing more than a round in the X-Factor. Mark my words!
  6. You notice a distinct lack of extended, ten minute drum, keyboard (and above all) guitar solos in the work of the today’s rock bands. Once upon a time, any half-decent rock act could be relied upon to be a beacon of self-indulgent, virtuoso expression and improvisation. Whatever happened to the lost art of “the jam”? The Kings Of Leon, Coldplay and Nickelback may be filling stadiums, but if they are this generation’s equivalent of the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet, then the golden age of the solo is over. What a pity.
  7. One good thing you’ve discovered is that you can pick up a greatest hits compilation, by your favourite band, in a supermarket for under a fiver. Result!
  8. The “antics” of today’s “bad boys” seem a little erm… pathetic. In your day, a rock star was expected to reduce a room at the Holiday Inn to rubble, drive a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool, live fast, die young & leave a hideously grinning corpse. Justin Bieber smokes a joint & urinates into a mop bucket and he’s a “rebel”? He’s a bloody amateur!
  9. You refer to something called “the hit parade”. This is what the charts used to be called back in an era when the Diet Coke was only drunk by people who were actually on a diet, red meat was good for you, and you could put two sugars in your cuppa without incurring the wrath of the lifestyle police.
  10. You have this bizarre notion that “live” music should not involve miming. You do not care how many times people roll their eyes or tune you out when you point out that Madonna, Kylie and Katy Perry (to name but a few) have all committed fraud by selling tickets to a “live” show which was largely lip-synced. It’s usually done in order to ensure the dance routine, and visual aspects of the “performance” are as perfect as the video. The musical aspect is of secondary importance, it seems. Strangely, putting on a visual extravaganza whilst actually playing & singing live was never a problem for bands like The Who, Van Halen, Pink Floyd and Alice Cooper. This is probably due to an abundance of something called “talent”.

If any of the above struck a chord with you, then you are undoubtedly a music lover, a connoisseur of virtuosity, an appreciator of talent and above all, a child of the ’70s. Don’t worry… it’s the world that’s gone mad, not you!


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The John Robson Jazz Project



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